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Walsworth Publishing Installs Speedmaster SM 102 Presses

Press release from the issuing company

KENNESAW, Ga. – September 11, 2008 – Marceline, Mo.-based yearbook printer Walsworth Publishing has surpassed its productivity records – and its expectations – after the installation of two new 8-color Speedmaster SM 102 perfecting presses from Heidelberg. The printer, which has helped preserve memories for generations of students, knew that efficient makereadies were essential for allowing the company to continue printing batch after batch of short-run yearbooks. Thanks to the capabilities of the two new SM 102 presses, makereadies and overall productivity are faster than ever.

"We recently set an eight-hour single-shift record of 400 plates on the SM 102s," said Mark Hatfield, Walsworth's vice president of manufacturing operations. "And our new record for a single 24-hour period is 960 plates." It's not uncommon for the shop to hang an average of 900 plates a day on each SM 102 over the course of a week during peak production season.

Walsworth installed its first SM 102, which features Axis Control, Prinect Prepress Interface and Prinect CP2000 Center, in 2007. The company was so pleased with the proven productivity and quality results that it ordered a second, identical machine, which was installed last December. "Other presses we have experienced just don't hold a candle to what these Heidelbergs can do," said Hatfield.

With preset functions from the feeder through the delivery that reduce setup work to a minimum - plus full integration into the shop's digital workflow via Prinect and a host of automation and technology features - the SM 102 offers efficient make-ready times and fast job throughput. Walsworth has used these characteristics to its full advantage; not only has productivity increased, but paper waste has also been drastically reduced.

"We looked at a lot of different presses when we were researching our decision," Walsworth Plant Manager Gary O'Toole said. "Having had experience with Heidelberg in previous jobs, I had always been very fond of them from a reliability and print quality standpoint. Looking at the automation and make-ready features of the SM 102, it seemed like a good fit for us."

O'Toole and his staff have also been pleased with the Preset Plus Feeder, which delivers stable, precise sheet travel on a variety of stocks as well as the advanced color management and screening capabilities of Prinect. "Our guys never have to focus on the feeder," O'Toole said. "This allows them to spend their time with the ink and the plates. And with Prinect workflow for color management, we're matching our proofs dead on."

In addition to record-breaking productivity in short-run printing, the new Heidelberg presses have enabled Walsworth to expand its commercial printing business. "We're a little different from the other yearbook printers because we are growing our commercial business," Hatfield said. "We see that's a growing market and we're taking advantage of it. Since yearbook printing is so seasonal, the commercial market helps us more fully utilize our equipment." On the commercial side, Walsworth prints books, magazines and other products for customers including National Geographic, Adobe and McGraw-Hill. "We're starting to get positive recognition among the well-known publishers, and it's paying off for us," Hatfield said. "We're sure we made the right choice with Heidelberg. There's no question."

The value Walsworth has received from Heidelberg's presses goes far beyond the equipment itself. The publisher sent its press operators to Heidelberg's Print Media Demonstration Center (PMDC) at its U.S. headquarters in Kennesaw, Ga. for advanced training on the new equipment and technology. And like other new presses from Heidelberg, both SM 102s came with Systemservice 36plus, which includes all repair services, parts and 24/7 support for three years.

To sum up his satisfaction with the SM 102s, O'Toole said, "They print well. They print like Heidelbergs."